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You already pay money to advertise with Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, and now Yelp? Yelp is an online business directory made to help consumers find local businesses, so it is no wonder why it is an important marketing tool for your business. But the question still lingers, is it worth paying for? 

Unless you are some rarity, odds are that you yourself have used Yelp. Yelp has nearly 150 million unique users visit their site every single month. They visit the site to learn about local businesses and compare what is the best option is for their wallet or what other people recommend. In a study done it was found that 91% of people trust recommendations online just like they would trust a friend giving a recommendation. So, Yelp has high traffic and high influence, what’s to stop you from immediately scheduling an ad run? Well, before you click the ‘confirm purchase’ button, let’s dive into the pros and cons of advertising with Yelp. 


Enhance Traffic

Like we talked about above people actively seek out businesses on Yelp. People want to know what others recommend before diving blindly into a decision. There is no question that if you advertise on Yelp that people will see it.

Easy for the Consumer

Yelp is a relatively easy platform for many people to use. All people have to do is click on your profile and they can learn about your business, how to contact you, and find a link to your website. It’s intuitive and a majority of audiences are able to access the information. 


Reviews on Yelp, with a few exceptions, are written by everyday people with their own, genuine opinions. While fake reviews do exist, they are generally filtered out by Yelp. People put trust in the reviews about your business and make their decision about your business accordingly.

Reach People Who Want Your Business

This one is a huge Yelp strength. People are already on Yelp actively seeking your business directly or businesses in your general field. You don’t have to convince people to use or buy your product—they are already interested. You just have to get them to choose your business compared to your competitors. 

Minimal Ads

Yelp only allows a few ads per page, so pages are not cluttered by ads. You also have the option—if you pay more for it—to filter out your competitors’ pages. Your ad will be almost exclusive to potential customers’ searches. 


Lead Inflation

What Yelp considers a lead is often up for debate. Usually, a lead is considered a click on your website or a subscription to your mailing list, but Yelp considers leads a view on your Yelp page. Having people look at your Yelp profile should not be your ultimate goal, your ultimate goal should be to generate traffic, clicks, and likes to your social accounts or website. 

Long Term and Expensive Contracts

The nice thing about a Facebook Ad is the ability to determine the duration and amount of money you want to spend on your ad. Yelp doesn’t work that way. Yelp is known for its long-term contacts, usually ranging around a year. Their baseline contracts are also expensive, starting at around $350 a month with the option to build based on the number of clicks and traffic you get. That’s around $5,000 a year your business would spend on marketing with Yelp alone. 

Doesn’t Lead Traffic Where You Want It

You pay a good amount of money to maintain a website or have someone post on your social channels two, three, four times a week. What is the point of advertising somewhere that the ultimate goal is not to bring traffic to these places? When people see your business on Yelp, they most likely read the reviews and make a decision then and there. While this may be great if you have solid Yelp reviews, it otherwise means traffic isn’t coming directly to your own site and content, where you have put your best online foot forward.

No Control Over Reviews

One negative review can really put a damper on your business, even if the review is not true. Even though you are paying $350 a month you have no control over what people post on your profile. On the other side, Yelp sometimes filters out positive reviews of your business; you also have no control over reviews that you want to be highlighted. 

Okay, now that we have gone over the pros and cons you will be able to see that there are substantial pros and cons to advertising with Yelp. As digital marketing professionals, we would  advise steering clear of Yelp advertising if you’re a small business, focusing instead on shoroter term advertising with more manageable budgets and content control. Consider adding it to your marketing plan if you have a large marketing budget. Either way, monitoring your Yelp reviews is a great way to see what kind of organic feedback your business is receiving in the community.

Having a hard time figuring out where to start with digital advertising? Reach out to Monkey VA today and one of our marketing specialists can help set up an advertising plan specifically for your business.